Saturday, May 26, 2012

Paris: Discovering Striiiipes

I went to Paris to see my friend Peggy who is teacher at the design school Studio Bercot. I sat in on one of her classes where she teaches how to create designs on silk using batik - an Indonesian style of decorating cloth using wax and  dye. One of her students, Arthur Lhermite, created these cool scarves in the picture above. Aren't they gorgeous!

I totally fell in love with them. It's such simple concept using motifs of belts, bows and watches but it looks so classy and unique. They were such a hit that he's now started his own company Striiiipes to sell them. Here is the link to his website in case you're interested.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yashin: Intricate, beautiful and expensive Sushi in Kensington

My friend Rose and I decided to catch up over dinner one night at Yashin. Located just off of Kensington High Street, Yashin is known for their flame-torched sushi that is so good that you don't need even need soy sauce. My friend had given me rave reviews and I was eager to try it out.

We had the best seats in the house - right at the chefs counter. I watched in utter fascination how the chefs prepared the sushi - delicate and intricate creations, so beautifully presented. They put on quite a show with the blow torch they use to sear the sushi.  

To start with, we ordered a Tuna Carpaccio with Truffle Ponzu jelly. Words can not describe how good this was. The moment it entered our mouths, we went silent. So intensely good - it literally melts in your mouth.

I couldn't think or focus on what Rose was saying - all I was aware of was the tuna melting in my mouth in perfect harmony with citrus-y  ponzu and decadent truffle. It was like the taste of pure luxury if that makes sense.

Then the beautifully presented Omakase arrived. Visually stunning - quite a treat for your palate. The Omakase had 8 specially prepared pieces of sushi and one sushi roll of the day - which was spicy tuna.There were a few unorthodox pairings like the Parmesan garnish on salmon and the thin sliver of strawberry on the sea bass. 
All in all, they worked well though I couldn't help thinking to myself this plate costs £30 - 'ARE YOU CRAZY'!

In addition to the spicy tuna roll, we also go a prawn tempura roll. Both were good as well but we had been spoiled by the previous plates of food.

It was lovely experience with some Grade A quality sushi but you definitely paid the price. 50£ per person is quite expensive and so Yashin is more of a one-time splurge for me. But if the price tag doesn't scare you off, I definitely recommend trying it out.


1A Argyll Road London W8 7DB
Tel: 0207 938 1536
Tube: High Street Kensington

Yashin Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bocca di Lupo: Delicious Italian food in Soho

Bocca di Lupo is amazing!

….and unfortunately, everyone knows it.

It really baffles me how hard it to get a reservation at a good restaurant in London – you to book a week or two in advance or join the dreaded ‘no-reservation’ queue where depending on your luck you might find yourself waiting over an hour for table. And then you have the conundrum of should you cut your losses and just leave or do you stubbornly insist that since  you spent ages standing in line you might as well go for the long haul. It's such a draining experience, when you finally sit down, eat and then realize you just spent over an hour waiting for a 30 minute dining experience. (Relaise de Venise – I’m looking at you!)

Anyway not too worry, Bocca di Lupo does take reservations and you can get a table if you’re a bit last minute in planning but willing to be flexible in terms of time/day. 

The food was sublime. Everything tasted fresh with delicate flavours. We had the raw platter of langoustine, sea bream and scallops ~ 'Crudita di mare' paired with gorgeous pink blood-orange.

The menu is divided in to small and large plates. We chose 3 smaller plates giving us the option to share and try more dishes. We started with inky cuttlefish and troife pasta dish which was the first time I had had troife and I love the combination.

Next was the Orecchiette with ndjua (spicy sausage), onion and tomato. I wasn't expecting much from this dish but really enjoyed the spicy flavours.

My favourite was the Risotto Milanese - possibly the best risotto I have ever had made of saffron and bone-marrow. 

For dessert, we shared the profiteroles filled with three types of gelato - pistachio, hazelnut and chestnut. So good! The deserts come from their gelato shop Gelupo which is right next door. 

I highly recommend all these dishes but you might not get to try them given how the menu changes everyday depending on their daily produce. It’s lovely to see how committed they to cooking with the best fresh ingredients even if it means changing the dinner menu if something runs out at lunch. 

You must try sitting at the chef's counter if it's just the two of you since you feel you're in the thick of things watching chefs cook away. I’m definitely returning for a second visit since I know I’ll probably get to try a whole new set of dishes!

There was older gentleman sitting next to me who was dining by himself. We started chatting and proof of how BdL can win you over, he told me he's been here over 50 times since the restaurant opens! No wonder it's hard to get a reservation when its got such loyal clientele.

loved  Bocca di Lupo and my dining companion, Eli G gave her Italian stamp of approval as well.

Bocca di Lupo

12 Archer Street London W1D 7BB
Tel:0207 734 2223
Tube: Picadilly Circus

Bocca Di Lupo on Urbanspoon

Square Meal